Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Functional boost for magnetic resonance imaging

Date:
January 18, 2011
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Over the last few years, researchers have used a type of brain scanning, known as functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI, to help them map changes in blood flow in the brain and to correlate this with thoughts and behavior. Researchers have now developed a new way to analyze fMRI data.

Over the last few years, researchers have used a type of brain scanning, known as functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI, to help them map changes in blood flow in the brain and to correlate this with thoughts and behavior. A new way to analyze fMRI data is reported in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design.

Related Articles


Scientists have known since the 1890s that changes in blood flow and blood oxygenation in the brain (hemodynamics) are correlated with activity in brain cells, neurons. When a neuron is active it needs more energy from glucose and this demand increases blood flow to the regions of the brain where there is more neural activity. This leads to local changes in the relative concentration of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin and changes in local cerebral blood volume and in local cerebral blood flow, which researchers have been measuring using fMRI since the early 1990s. Since then, brain mapping using this relatively non-invasive technique, which also avoids exposure to ionizing radiation has become more and more widely used.

Researchers have used fMRI to study brain development and function, to diagnose problems following injury and to predict when a person might be fit enough to return to work, as an alternative to lie detectors, to allegedly peer into a person's dreams, and even to communicate with patients in a vegetative state. Many of the experiments that have received attention in the news media are controversial in that interpreting images of changing blood flow in the brain is only a proxy of actual activity Moreover, extrapolating those proxy images to thoughts and behavior involves a not in significant extrapolation.

Now, Chuan Li and Qi Hao of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, have developed a more robust, three-stage approach to fMRI that could improve the detection of neural activity considerably and allow researchers to make more precise interpretations of fMRI data.

The team explains that there are three stages to their approach: prediction, modeling and inference. Prediction involves identifying regions of interest associated with an extraordinary amount of neural activity through Temporal Clustering Analysis (TCA). Modeling involves categorizing the fMRI signals related to neural activity into event prototypes through Linear Predictive Coding (LPC). Finally, inference is the determination of the types of neural activity taking place in terms of activation, deactivation and normality using a type of statistical analysis known as Bayesian inference.

Their approach side-steps to some extent the problems inherent in current approaches to fMRI, namely low signal-to-noise ratio, high data volumes, differences between patients or subjects and artifacts caused by the movement of the person being scanned. Their approach allows them to turn large amounts of often noisy data into discrete sequences of neural activity events. The team has demonstrated how well their approach works by analyzing data from fMRI scans on volunteers involved in the simple activities of drinking a glass of water or a glass of glucose solution.

"Our expertise is in signal processing and machine learning. Our research goal is to develop a set of powerful signal processing tools for fMRI researchers," says Hao.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chuan Li, Qi Hao, Weihong Guo, Fei Hu. Compressive neural activity detection with fMR images using Graphical Model Inference. International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design, 2010; 3 (3): 187 DOI: 10.1504/IJCBDD.2010.038024

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Functional boost for magnetic resonance imaging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118122753.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2011, January 18). Functional boost for magnetic resonance imaging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118122753.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Functional boost for magnetic resonance imaging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110118122753.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins